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“A step back in time”

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The Fairmont Empress
Ranked #20 of 46 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 29 May 2014

On route to Tofino we stayed overnight at the Empress. The hotel is elegant reflecting a colonial past. Our room was large and well maintained though the bathroom was past its best. We had the buffet meal in the Bengal Lounge which was excellent and good value for money. The staff were efficient and professional. The breakfast was a bit of a mish mash we allsorts of choices and varying individual prices, would have been better served by a buffet. Altogether an enjoyable city center stay

Room Tip: If the view is importance make sure you request a harbour facing room
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank rogerwmorris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Stratford-Upon-Avon,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us en route to Tofino. I am happy to read that you enjoyed the elegance of the hotel and that you also enjoyed your room. Thank you for your feedback regarding the bathroom. With the support of our owners we continue to address and improve upon our hotel product each year. The need for refurbishing our guestrooms is certainly an area we are discussing as we plan for future renovations. Your comments are helpful to us in this regard, and allow us to confirm that we are investing in improvements that are most important to our valued guests. I am also happy that you enjoyed the Bengal Lounge. Thank you again for taking the time to write this review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to Canada again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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2,280 - 2,286 of 3,969 reviews

Reviewed 29 May 2014

The Empress is one of those landmark hotels around the globe. Centrally located in downtown Victoria, this chateau has a rich history and grandeur. I stayed in the basic Fairmont rooms of decent size, and had several meals here too. If you love the British/Victoria decor, I would suggest staying here at least once!

Note: no air-conditioning in Fairmont rooms

Room Tip: Fairmont rooms are decent, but the view is so-so...no air-conditioning either.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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Thank JY198011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Montreal,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am pleased to read that you enjoyed the history and grandeur of The Fairmont Empress. I was also pleased that you enjoyed our wonderful location right across from the inner harbour and within walking distance to so many wonderful local attractions. I hope that you were able to enjoy a city tour to see all that Victoria has to offer. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when you return to Victoria again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014

I had a hard time sifting through the previous reviews of the Empress. I have been to Victoria before, but hadn't stayed here. I can see why the reviews are confusing. I think there are probably many bad rooms at the Empress. However, I stayed in the Gold section, and as others mentioned, the rooms are very nice. I booked a Junior Suite on the Gold level, and was upgraded to a one bedroom suite. It was gorgeous! The view was straight on to the harbor with big (operable) picture windows from the sitting room, a small one from the bedroom. There was a fireplace, and a beautiful bathroom. The amenities were nice, service was fantastic (housekeeping, Gold concierge, and all throughout the hotel). Friends stayed in the Jr. Suite (also Gold floor); These are on the corners, and don't really have the promised harbor view, except through a small window; so these rooms were not as nice as I would have expected. My friends were a little disappointed. I did not see regular size rooms. I heard that the non-gold rooms haven't been renovated, so for me, I know I would have not liked them. The Gold level food service (breakfast, mid day tea, evening service) was pretty spectacular. Breakfast is full (not continental); tea is pretty extensive, and evening as well. Food is delicious and beautifully presented, there are espresso drinks, and you can pay for alcoholic beverages, which seemed fine.. Dealing only with the concierges (on Gold level) instead of the front desk was great. We took the hotel tour, and unfortunately, our tour guide was not great, so we really didn't get the history of the hotel, which clearly it has! We loved the vibe in the Bengal Room, had drinks there. The Spa was just ok, I cant really recommend it--super small, and not luxurious, but decent treatments-you can only go into the steam and sauna if you are having a treatment. I would definitely return here, if I could stay in the one bedroom suite on the gold level. It's beautiful, views are lovely, and the location can't be beat. You can walk everywhere. Unless they renovate the rooms, I am pretty sure I would not enjoy staying in a regular room.

Room Tip: The Gold Level is probably the best choice and worth the extra price, given what you get for it. Es...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank sanfran58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2014

Dear Valued Guest from San Francisco,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on Tripadvisor of your recent stay with us. I am so pleased to hear that we were able to provide you with the service that The Fairmont Empress is so well known for. It is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your stay on Fairmont Gold. I am very pleased that you found the staff from housekeeping to concierge to other areas in the hotel so welcoming and able to assist you throughout your stay. The need for refurbishing some of our guestrooms is certainly an area we are discussing as we plan for future renovations. Your comments are helpful to us in this regard, and allow us to confirm that we are investing in improvements that are most important to our valued guests. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to Victoria again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

This hotel is beautiful, and the customer service is impeccable. Clean rooms that are beautifully decorated, and the location is in the heart of Victoria. What more could you ask for? We got upgraded to a wharf view room, and it was worth the extra. We also had a toilet issue around 10pm, and it was serviced very quickly and fixed with no problems.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Susannah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Spokane,

Thank you for writing such a great review on TripAdvisor. We certainly appreciate all feedback and I am happy that we provided you with the service that The Fairmont Empress is so well known for. Our location is wonderful and within walking distance to so many of the great attractions in Victoria. I apologize for the toilet issue that you had but am happy to read that the issue was serviced and fixed quickly. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forwarding to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to Victoria again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

This Fairmont Hotel was by far the nicest of the Fairmonts we stayed in during our trip through Canada. The rooms are reasonably large and very clean. As for location - absolutely brilliant.
Don't expect to drink too much as the prices are ridiculous. A glass of wine is $16 - $18 and a beer is $12. However, the food in the restraunt is beautiful.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a harbour view
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bryan035
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Brisbane,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice review on TripAdvisor about your recent stay with us. It was wonderful to read that you enjoyed our room size and cleanliness and that you loved our location. I hope that you had time to enjoy a city tour of Victoria to see all that our beautiful city has to offer. Thank you again for writing this review. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Fairmont Empress when your travels bring you to Victoria again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

I guess it has the best location in Victoria. Close to the shore, to parks, to famous local food. Actually, visiting the "Empress" is part of the city tour. The food is wonderful and the price is good as well.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Thank Raissalages
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2014

Dear Valued Guest from Quebec,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great review on TripAdvisor of your recent stay with us. I am happy to read that you enjoyed our food and hope that you had the chance to eat in The Bengal Lounge as well as the Empress Room and enjoy our Afternoon Tea Experience. I am also pleased to read that you enjoyed our wonderful location within walking distance to so many things in this beautiful city. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review. We look forward to welcoming you back when your travels bring you out west again.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We stayed at the hotel Thursday and Friday night. It was a disaster. We had changed rooms three times before settling on a dirty, dusty room that had lipstick on the coffee cups, nice. The two prior rooms had room 421 electrical issues (left side of the room did not work) and room 404 had construction noise.

No air conditioning and the smell of food from the blowing fans outside of the room (291) kinda made me sick. Hot smelly room!!!

The breakfasts portions have appeared to be smaller (4 little raw potatoes) cold toast and poor service.

I used to love this hotel and have stayed many times previously, very sad for my experience this time, don't think we will be back.

Room Tip: Dirty rooms, keep trying to get a clean one.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Brenda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FairmontEmpress1908, General Manager at The Fairmont Empress, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2014

Dear Valued Guests from Winnipeg,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I am sorry to hear that your stay was not as memorable as we would like. We strive to provide the best experience and customer service that guests have come to expect of Fairmont Hotels. I will personally be following up with our Executive Housekeeper regarding your comments about cleanliness of the room and coffee cups. I will also be following up with our Chief Engineer regarding the electrical issues, and our Executive Chef regarding the food portion size and temperature. These are all unacceptable. Thank you again for sharing the feedback. I would be happy to discuss your stay further should you wish as I would certainly hope to have the chance to welcome you back again in the future.

Kind regards,

Don Fennerty
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Fairmont Empress

Address: 721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1W5, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Victoria
#6 Spa Hotel in Victoria
#9 Luxury Hotel in Victoria
#13 Business Hotel in Victoria
#14 Family Hotel in Victoria
#16 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: £146 - £392 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Fairmont Empress 4*
Number of rooms: 477
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Regarded as a Condé Nast Readers' Choice and Gold List hotel, and honoured with the Travel + Leisure distinction as a top Canadian hotel, the Fairmont Empress graces Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour with an iconic presence. The Fairmont Empress, Victoria B.C.’s most iconic hotel, has just unveiled a $60 million dollar restoration.This luxury hotel offers 464 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, and expansive meeting and wedding space adjacent to the conference centre. Located on the picturesque West Coast of Canada, this is the ideal location to explore all the natural beauty of Vancouver Island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Hotel Empress
Empress Hotel Victoria
Fairmont Victoria
Victoria Fairmont
Fairmont Empress Hotel
The Fairmont Empress Victoria, Vancouver Island

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